Ras Dashen
"Comfort Food From The Mountains of Ethiopia"
Steve Dolinsky with ABC News...

"Consistently delicious" & "Best doro wat in the city"

Eat your heart out -- no utensils needed
February 5, 2010 (CHICAGO) (WLS) -- There are several types of restaurants in Chicago where knives, forks and spoons aren't necessary...
Click here for more of Steve Dolinsky covering Ras Dashen on ABC News.

Michelin Guide Recommended

"Welcoming and all-embracing, Ras Dashen is a good pick for both the neophyte to Ethiopian cuisine as well as the loyal enthusiast who wants authentic eats.  The friendly staff is happy to explain the drinks, the mossab (that covered dish on each table used as the communal serving plate), and even the restrooms (men's and women's facilities are in different parts of the restaurant).
"As is traditional, dishes are served with injera, the fermented pancake-like bread used to ladle food, such as the yebeg wat, a dish of tender lamb cubes stewed in a spicy berbere sauce.  Ras Dashen even offers a warm and creamy bread pudding made with injera, spices, and flax seeds.  An ample offering of signature drinks and hard-to-find beers are poured at the full bar."

Check Please! Unanimously Recommended

All three participants recommend Ras Dashen unanimously on WTTW's Check Please

Cherie Getchell Law Student, Chicago. Cherie recommended it and says it's the best Ethiopian food in the city. Cherie recommends: Ras Dashen

Daniel Rybicky Film Professor, Chicago
Dan thought this was a perfect introduction to this type of cuisine.
Daniel recommends: Treat (closed)

Ovidio Torres Communications Consultant, Chicago
Ovidio found it had a relaxed vibe, flavorful food, and great for a group.
Ovidio recommends:

Chicago Magazine

Chef Zenash Beyene gives you the real Ethiopian deal in this pretty spot. She also gives you tons of injera, the addictive sour/spongy flatbread that’s essential for scooping up food. It also soothes the aggressive flavors of many dishes, loaded with hot pepper and bebere, a complex spice mix. Kitfo tere (steak tartare) seasoned with kibe (spiced clarified butter), packs a wallop, as does yebeg tibs be berbere made with tender lamb chunks. Skip muddy-tasting tilapia dishes. Entrées come with choice of three sides, including ib (soft buttermilk cheese) and qosta (spinach cooked with onions, garlic, and spices). Many good vegetarian and vegan options like misserana bowmia (okra and lentils in berbere sauce). Injera and roasted flaxseed bread pudding is warm and exotic; Ethiopian beers and coffee on hand.

Additional Information:

Rating: 1 star
Cuisine: African
Neighborhood: Andersonville/Edgewater
Hours: Lunch and dinner daily

3 or more vegetarian items
corkage fee
telephone/online reservations
wheelchair accessible
child friendly

Time Out Chicago

The grape escape
“We always wanted to bring Ethiopian and African beers to people,” says Maritu Takala, whose parents opened this quiet Ethiopian restaurant in Edgewater five years ago. Takala has done just that by amassing a well-chosen list of 25 international beers, including six from Africa. She’s working on importing the restaurant’s namesake beer, Ras Dashen.
“Try: go right for the African picks. Among the Ethiopian brews, Takala recommends Hakim, a thick stout, with the nonspicy food, and the Harar (a refreshing lager) or the Bedele (light and honeyed) with anything higher on the heat index.”

Different points of brew
“Love isn’t the universal language—coffee is. Plot your perfect pick-me-up on this chart of truly international coffees.”
1. Ethiopian coffee
Ras Dashen, 5846 N Broadway (773-506-9601)

Student Guide 2006

Chow on African food.
“Between 1990 and 2000, the number of African immigrants (especially from Ghana, Nigeria and Ethiopia) tripled in Chicago, and many settled in Uptown and Edgewater. Along with the population influx came fine eats like the kind you’ll find at Ethiopian restaurant 1. Ras Dashen (5846 N Broadway, 773-506-9601). Tangy injera bread takes the place of silverware at this local fave. Spinach sambusas—hot, crispy dumplings ($3)—are a fine way to start your meal, but if you follow the directions on the menu, you’ll have so much food that you won’t need starters at all. Be brave and try the fiery zilzil tibs ($13.95), beef strips sautéed with peppers in berbere sauce, an Ethiopian specialty made with red peppers and cumin. Or go for the doro alicha ($10.95), a fragrant, milder chicken dish.

Top 100
“Tangy, spongy injera takes the place of silverware at this Ethiopian hot spot. Spinach sambusas—hot, crispy dumplings—are a fine way to start your meal, but if you follow the directions on the menu, you'll have enough food that you won't need starters at all. Be brave and try the fiery zilzil tibs, beef strips sauteed with peppers in berbere sauce, an Ethiopian specialty made with red peppers and cumin. Or go for the doro alicha, a fragrant, tender, milder chicken dish. This stuff is likely to induce a food coma, so snag a table with big, cushy chairs. 5846 N Broadway between Ardmore and Rosedale Aves (773-506-9601). El: Red to Thorndale. Bus: 36 Broadway. Lunch and dinner (closed Tue). Average main course: $11. Vegetarian”

Chicago Tribune

Veg Friendly - August 2005
“Meat vs. veg
“THE CHALLENGE: Can restaurants satisfy both a carnivore and a vegan? A meat-lover dad and his not-even-honey-eating daughter visit 8 places to see if opposites can dine together.
“Everything from the background music to mesobs--wicker hourglass-shaped tables--adds to the atmosphere. But it's the food that makes this Ethiopian eatery a keeper. We went with the vegetarian combo ($9.95), served on a giant communal platter and eaten with a basket of injera, the warm, spongy flatbread used instead of silverware to scoop food.
“Bill: Some of the highlights on the platter were misser wat (lentils in a spicy berbere red pepper--sauce), kik alicha (yellow split peas), ferfer (injera cooked in berbere sauce), qosta (spinach) and misser salata (a cold lentil salad). With choices like this (entrees run from $8.95 to $15.95), there's no reason to consider a meat dish. Ever.
“Kelly: Although veganism has lessened my fear of foodstuffs of questionable origin, Ethiopian food and how it's served was pretty unusual even to me. But the unique flavors and textures made for a surprisingly filling and satisfying meal.
“Verdict: We can't wait to go back. The injera alone was worth the trip.
“Our rating: 5 baskets of injera (henceforth, our standard of measure) out of a possible 5.”

What's hot: Ras Dashen
“Ras Dashen sits on a mile of Broadway that now boasts three Ethiopian restaurants. The chef is Zenash Beyene, who also ran an Ethiopian restaurant when she was a refugee in Khartoum, Sudan. This large L-shape room was stifling during a recent heat wave, but a fan and the eye-catching Ethiopian art helped take our minds off the temperature. About five of the 16 tables are low, basketlike affairs called mossab. When you take off the lids, the table tops are just big enough to fit the traditional serving tray. They are flanked by low Ethiopian chairs and side tables for extra food.
“Don't miss the excellent banana fudge gelato or the injera bread pudding, studded with raisins, carrots and roasted flax seeds, and served with vanilla ice cream.”

ABC TV - Chicago

Hungry Hound: Ethiopian Food
“Ethiopian food is rarely discussed among the world's great cuisines, but our Hungry Hound says the traditional meal is complex with various heat levels and multiple textures. It's also great for vegetarians. This week, our Steve Dolinsky headed up to the Edgewater neighborhood - on the city's far North Side- to learn exactly how to order Ethiopian, and more importantly, how to eat it.
“At the base of any good Ethiopian meal, is a giant, round disc of spongy injera bread. Made from an indigenous wheat flour, the bread not only lines the bottom of every platter, but also becomes a scooping device, since there are no utensils used. At well-regarded Ethiopian restaurants like Ras Dashen - named after the highest mountain in Ethiopia - the injera is made fresh daily. As for the savory items placed on top of it, they're not as exotic as you might think.
“The most things we eat is the chicken, fish, lamb a lot of vegetarian food," said Maritu Takala of Ras Dashen...”

October 25, 2006
NYC chef focuses on heritage, African cuisine in cook book

“Plenty of New York chefs have written cookbooks, but only one of them has traced his roots back to his home country of Ethiopia, using it as a springboard to tackle the varied cuisines of Africa.
“Marcus Samuelsson oversees three New York restaurants, including Aquavit, a three-star gem devoted to high-end Scandinavian food. Born in Ethiopia, tuberculosis claimed his mother when he was three. Adopted by Swedes, he grew up focusing his career on Scandinavian food. But in his latest cookbook, "The Soul Of A New Cuisine - A Discovery of the Foods and Flavors of Africa," Samuelsson returns to his roots.
“The heart of every chef, I think, is curiosity and passion, combined; that's what drives us to new recipes new ideas. So for me, being from Ethiopia, also being all over the world and not to Ethiopia, it bugged me when an Ethiopian person would ask me, 'Oh, you haven't been home? Oh my God, shame on you.' So alright, I'm going," said Marcus Samuelsson, "The Soul of a New Cuisine."
“ABC7 spoke with Samuelsson at Ras Dashen, a popular Ethiopian restaurant in the Edgewater neighborhood, where he learned a few things from owner Zenash Beyene. "I love this one, all vegetarian.”

Centerstage - Chicago

The Original City Guide - by Jenny Seay

“Ras Dashen gives whole new meaning to the words 'finger food.' This friendly Edgewater eatery offers a traditional Ethiopean dining experience, where parties are served entrees on a communal platter, coated with spongy injera. Selections are spooned onto this hearty bread, an abundance of which is also served on the side in lieu of silverware.
“Less adventurous diners may be taken aback at the idea of food as a utensil, but will soon find that the bread trumps a spoon any day when you're sopping up the sauce-laden entrees. A word to the wise: Injera goes down heavy, so eating too much can leave you full before you've even made a dent in your main course.
“Menu highlights include Yebeg wat (lamb in a spicy berbere sauce) and Kik alicha (yellow split peas cooked with onions, garlic, ginger and green peppers. Don't miss the bread pudding, deceptively sinful with its healthful combination of raisins, nuts and roasted flax seeds...”

Lerner Skyline

Passover's antiquity preserved in age-old Ethiopian tradition
by Leah A Zeldes

“At sunset Monday, April 5, Jews worldwide will begin the observance of Passover, a celebration that dates to the time of Mosses. Mosses according to the Bible, married an Ethiopian woman.
“The Jews of Ethiopia call themselves Beta Israel , "House of Israel". Their community is ancient - tradition holds that they're descended from Jews who traveled from Jerusalem to Ethiopia with Menelik, the son of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba.
“Today, most of the Beta Israel live in Israel, Zenash Beyene, 46 owner of Edgewater's Ras Dashen restaurant, 5846 N. Broadway, believes she and her family may be the only Ethiopian Jews in Chicago, an isolation not unlike that of her people's from the rest of the world's Jews, from whom they were separated for millennia...”

Chicago Reader

“Voted best new restaurant in Edgewater at the end of 2001 by residents and area businesses, this Ethiopian serves the classics: a variety of chicken, beef, lamb, and vegetarian stews, all meant to be eaten without utensils. Each entree comes with three side dishes; servers will gladly select for you, or you can choose yourself. Injera, the sour, spongy pancakes that accompany the meal, are meant to be torn and then dipped into the dishes, which are served family style...”


Planet 99 - by Alotta

“This award-winning Edgewater restaurant features classic Ethiopian cuisine. Menu items include an array of chicken, lamb, beef, and vegetarian stews, eaten family-style with torn pieces of injera, a pancakelike bread, instead of utensils. Each main dish comes with three side dishes; servers are happy to help you make selections. Open for lunch and dinner...”

Hours of Operation
11:00am - 10:30pm

Tuesday - Closed

Friday - Saturday

11:00am - 11:00pm
N Brodway Chicago, IL 60660

​T: +1 (773) 506 9601
E: rasdashen@ameritech.net